20 Best Things to Do in Racine, WI
Located on the coast of Lake Michigan, Racine is a quaint yet captivating city in Wisconsin.
This city boasts many buildings listed under the National Register of Historic Places, making it an interesting place to visit.
It also features gorgeous views of Lake Michigan and Root River, which is perfect for travelers who want a quiet retreat near nature.
For those who have a penchant for great architecture, make sure to drop by Racine Masonic Center and Wingspread Retreat & Executive Conference Center.
Historical landmarks such as the Racine Heritage Museum and Wind Point Lighthouse are also great attractions to explore.
Do not forget to try the famous pizza of Wells Brothers Italian Restaurant while you are here as well.
If you are traveling soon and would like to know the city's top attractions, scroll down for the list of the best things to do in Racine, WI, below.
Tour the Wind Point Lighthouse
Topping this list is Wind Point Lighthouse.
It is the oldest and tallest active lighthouse on the Great Lakes, making it a must-see for all tourists visiting Racine.
Built in 1880, this lighthouse holds so much history, which you can learn more about when you book a tour at the lighthouse.
If you want to explore the lighthouse with your loved ones, you can also book a private group tour through their website for more fun and convenient visit.
It is also a great place to see for traveling families who are looking for a place where they can spend some quality time together while enjoying the outdoors.
While you are here, do not forget to go to the park grounds, as it offers picnic tables, benches, a beach area, and beautiful gardens that travelers of all ages can enjoy.
Do not forget to take some pictures of this beautiful landmark, so you’ll have something to remember this place by.
However, if you want to take photos of the landmark for commercial purposes, make sure to secure a permit for this first.
Explore the Wingspread Retreat & Executive Conference Center
For travelers who are fond of seeing beautifully built buildings with great architecture, Wingspread Retreat & Executive Conference Center is one of the places in Racine that will excite you.
The landmark was constructed using limestones, bricks, tinted stucco, and cypress, giving the building a very posh and polished look.
Seating on a 36-acre land, Wingspread is a popular spot for travelers from around the world, as it showcases unique features making it more exciting to explore.
Take a look at the interesting features the building has, such as the 30-foot-high chimney and the crow's nest, for a more interesting visit.
Enjoy some natural light while you stroll around the building through its many windows and skylights.
If you are passionate about art or traveling with someone, you'd be happy to know that you can go on a sculpture tour while you are here, where you can marvel at bronze sculptures and other artworks on the property.
To know why this famous landmark is one of the most beautiful buildings in the area, pay Wingspread Retreat & Executive Conference Center a visit.
Relax at North Beach Park
There is no better way to spend a day outdoors than spending it on a beach, especially when the weather is nice.
So, if you just want to laze around and relax while listening to the calming sounds of the waves crashing the shore, you should pay North Beach Park a visit.
Go for a refreshing swim with your family for a fun day at the beach.
You can also play beach volleyball or go biking with your loved ones while you are here.
For those who are looking for a more calming activity at the beach, you can set up a picnic here for the whole gang.
Reading your favorite book or listening to your favorite playlist while lying down on the warm sand is also a good idea for an enjoyable day at the beach.
Attend a Glass Blowing Class at Hot Shop Glass Studio & Gallery
Are you looking for an activity that is unique and fascinating?
Then, why don't you try attending a glass blowing and glass fusing class at Hot Shop Glass Studio & Gallery?
The studio is open all year round, so feel free to give them a call whenever you are in Racine to schedule a class with them.
Do not worry, as you do not have to be an experienced glass artist to join a class here.
If you have no time to attend a class, you can watch some of the artists who are working on their creations and visit their gallery to buy some pieces created by local artists.
They sell one-of-a-kind glassware, perfect for those who are looking for special gifts for their loved ones back home.
Enjoy the Outdoors at River Bend Nature Center
For travelers who want to explore the great outdoors, going to River Bend Nature Center might be a good idea.
The center sits on an 80-acre wide land, which is ideal for outdoor recreational activities.
Enjoy the fresh air and the beautiful views of woodlands, ponds, and grassy fields.
Feel the calmness that being close to nature brings while watching the Root River flow.
For guests who would like to go on a water adventure, there are canoes and kayaks that you can rent at the property.
For those who are visiting during the cold season, there are cross country and snowshoe rentals available here as well.
Get Educated about Racine’s History at Racine Heritage Museum
Once a public library from 1904 to 1958, Racine Heritage Museum is one of Racine's historical buildings that you should not miss.
This building now houses exhibits that let visitors know more about the city's history.
There are plenty of interesting things to see here as well, such as a real mummy, so you will definitely be entertained during your visit.
You can also learn a lot of interesting facts about Racine when you stop by at the museum, like how the city was an automotive powerhouse before and that one of the most famous Racine automobile manufacturers back then was the Mitchell & Lewis Motor Car Company.
They also change their displays often to keep guests feeling excited every time they come to the museum.
Do not worry, as you can come back as often as you like because the entrance is free, but you can make donations to the museum if you like.
Solve Mysteries at Seven Keys to Escape
If you are looking for an exciting activity that you and your loved ones can enjoy doing indoors, Seven Keys to Escape is the perfect place to visit.
Channel your inner detective as you gather clues, solve puzzles, and look for the keys that you can use to escape the room where you and your loved ones are all locked in.
Unlike other escape rooms, Seven Keys to Escape features more creative and challenging rooms that do not use much technology to ensure that you and your friends will have a grand time working and solving mysteries together.
For travelers who are dinosaur enthusiasts, Seven Keys to Escape has created a room that will allow you to investigate the stolen fossils in the Racine Dinosaur Museum.
For a fun time, do not forget to dress comfortably to ensure that you can move freely during your visit.
Join Sustainability Programs at Eco Justice Center
For travelers who want to make a difference by participating in activities that protect and nurture the plants, animals, and the environment, you can make Eco-Justice Center a part of your itinerary.
The center offers various programs for children, adults, and families, summer camp programs, and events that aim to educate their guests about sustainability, simple living, organic gardening, and animal caring.
Here, you can learn how they are able to use the fiber from alpacas for spinning, weaving, knitting, and felting.
You can also see here how they compost the manure from alpacas, goats, and chickens then use it for their organic gardens.
Make sure not to miss the opportunity to learn about the center's renewable energy features, such as solar hot water, solar electricity, geothermal heating and cooling, and more.
If you want to avail of a guided tour to learn more about the place, you can do so.
However, they also have self-guiding tour books available on site for those who are more comfortable looking around on their own.
All in all, this is a great place to learn more about sustainability.
Plus, the center also provides a calming ambiance and great views of gardens and lush trees, perfect for travelers who want a quiet time away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Learn More about Art at Racine Art Museum
One of the city's top attractions that art enthusiasts will love is the Racine Art Museum.
The museum houses North America's largest contemporary craft collection.
They feature more than 9,500 objects created by artists recognized both nationally and internationally.
A visit to this museum is always an exciting one because there are lots of things that you can find in the exhibits here, such as contemporary teapots, variations on cups, prints, and even jewelry.
Also expect some interactive learning experiences here that will make your time at the museum a more interesting one.
So, if you like to learn and have fun at the same time or would just love to see some great art collections, make sure that you do not miss your chance to drop by Racine Art Museum.
Watch a Live Performance at Racine Theatre Guild
If you want to watch some musicals, other stage plays, and some comedy shows, you can drop by Racine Theatre Guild.
This is a volunteer-based community theater under the management of professionals, so you can expect a great amount of talent when you attend a show here.
The theater is clean and has comfortable seats to ensure that guests will have a great time during their visit.
Tickets can be bought online or in the theater and are also priced reasonably.
So, if you are looking for amazing theater performances that will not cost a lot, this is the place to be.
They offer theater classes for kids and adults as well, so if you have always dreamt of performing on stage, this may be a great opportunity to learn the basics of this craft.
Marvel at the Beautiful Architecture of Racine Masonic Center
Established in 1856 and already an important historical landmark in the community since then, Henry S. Durand Mansion then became part of Racine Masonic Center in 1921.
This mansion features beautiful architecture that is difficult to miss when visiting downtown Racine.
Explore the many different rooms inside the center and travel back in time as you marvel at period furniture pieces and decors from earlier times.
For those who are celebrating something special and are looking for a venue, this amazing landmark is also a great place to consider.
There are also spaces for parking available around the building, so no need to worry if you are going to the center via private vehicle.
Participate in Events at Racine Zoological Gardens
One of the most exciting subjects to study is wildlife.
If you are one of those people who are fond of learning about animals, then you would love Racine Zoological Gardens or Racine Zoo.
Located in a 28-acre land on the shore of Lake Michigan, the zoo does not only feature various animals but also different events that all visitors can enjoy.
It boasts more than 100 species of animals native to Wisconsin.
Aside from buildings that are dedicated to reptiles and amphibians, other places that children will have fun are the hands-on discovery center and the children's zoo.
Some events that you can look forward to are Music at the Zoo, Winter Picnic in a Snow Globe, and Racine Zoo Brrr Garden: Beer and Food Tasting.
Just make sure to visit their website to see the schedules for these events, so you can time your visit perfectly.
All in all, with lots of activities to do and explore here, this is a great spot for families, couples, and even solo travelers.
Go Kayaking at Root River Environmental Education Community Center
If you are traveling with your family and would love to take your kids on an adventure, you might want to try going to Root River Environmental Education Community Center.
You can stroll around with your kids here while enjoying some fresh air and the view of the Root River.
If you want a more thrilling day, you can rent a canoe or kayak here and explore the river.
For travelers who want to spend their day in a serene and refreshing environment, this is also a great spot to visit.
Usually, not a lot of people come here, so you will not be overwhelmed by big crowds here, perfect for unwinding.
Walk around Reefpoint Marina
If you want to spend a quiet afternoon with your family, you can stroll around Reefpoint Marina and admire the gorgeous views of boats and Lake Michigan.
You can buy ice cream from a small store near the marina and just enjoy the cool breeze and the beautiful blue sky while you are here.
For those who like to travel in style and wish to park their boats here, do not worry, as they can accommodate boats of various shapes and sizes.
To make the most out of your visit here, you can grab a meal from one of the lakeside restaurants with your loved ones.
There are picnic tables that you can use here as well if you want to stay longer.
Eat Pizzas at Wells Brothers Italian Restaurant
Famous for being a pizza parlor and bar and for serving pies with thin crusts since 1921, Wells Brothers Restaurant is one of the best spots in Racine that you should not miss.
The restaurant uses the finest and freshest ingredients for their homemade sauces, leaving their pizza always tasting incredible.
Their pizza crusts are homemade as well to ensure that customers are always given the best quality of food.
Food servings also come in good portions at reasonable prices.
It's no wonder this restaurant has been operating for 100 years now.
So, if you are looking for delicious food and a great place to eat with a warm and cozy ambiance with the whole family, make sure to visit this restaurant.
Cycle through Lake Michigan Pathway
Racine offers various courses for cyclers.
One of them is the 9.8-mile paved path along Lake Michigan's edge.
The path offers spectacular vistas and takes you so close to the lake that you may feel the spray from the waves of Lake Michigan.
Riders may reach downtown Racine by foot or bike from the mail Street Bridge, where the Root River Pathway connects to the mail Street Bridge.
Ride a bike to Wind Point Lighthouse if you aren't frightened to take to the streets (many of which have very few vehicles).
Explore the City's History on Foot with Racine Heritage Walking Tours
If you're interested in Racine's history but would instead not visit the museum or engage in other traditional forms of education, a walking tour around the city is a great alternative.
The mile-long trip shouldn't take more than two hours, and it's free, thanks to the museum!
Guided by museum volunteers, you'll travel around the city and along Lake Michigan. W
hile basking in the outdoors, you'll get an appreciation for the role the town played in the development of modern industry and agriculture.
The tour guides' boundless enthusiasm for their city will highlight your experience.
Celebrate Art at Starving Artist Fair
The Starving Artist Fair is among the most popular events in Racine.
It happens every year towards the close of summer and is open to the public.
The fair is great for enjoying live music while browsing the many artwork displays.
More than a hundred vendors will be present, and there will also be free events for kids and concessions to purchase refreshments.
If you are an artist, you may even submit your work for display at the festival.
Practice Your Swings and Learn the History of Washington Park Golf Course
Racine welcomes golfers with a variety of challenging and exciting courses.
If you're bored with your typical golfing experience, try out Washington Park.
Washington Park Golf Course is the oldest continuously operating golf course in Wisconsin.
It has been in operation for almost a century.
It has 5,518 yards of golf at 70 par from the longest tees. Because Washington Park has been the "home course" for generations of Racine golfers, it has a vintage vibe.
Find Your Balance with Yoga Roots Racine
Taking a yoga session at Yoga Roots Racine is a great activity on a rainy day or in the morning.
You may select from its various offerings.
Vinyasa flow, gentle chair yoga, pilates, core fusion, fundamentals, and more are some popular styles taught there.
Note that you have to sign up for the class ahead of time online.
Yoga Roots Racine also provides intensive sessions for those who want to go further.
Choose from its restorative yoga, aerial yoga, and guided meditation classes.
Indulge in Spirits and Booze at The Ivanhoe Pub and Eatery
The structure that houses Ivanhoe Pub and Eatery also began as a bar in 1891.
The institution was acquired and extensively remodeled in the late 1920s by prize boxer and California native Barney Richter.
The current owner began renovating the ancient structure in 2002.
He used 1800 antique lamps as decorative elements.
With a piano from 1910, you can enjoy spontaneous musical gatherings.
The pub serves both lunch and dinner and features a selection of over one hundred whiskeys.
With a large number of buildings that feature amazing architecture and history, Racine is a place that is worth a visit.
It also offers many recreational activities that can be enjoyed by travelers of any age, perfect for traveling families who want to have fun and enjoy the outdoors.
All in all, this city has plenty to offer that will surely make your trip unforgettable.
Do not forget to check out this list again when making your itinerary for your trip to Racine to ensure that you do not miss any of the city’s greatest attractions.